Credit Where Credit's Due

05 September 2015

SIG: Travel

One of our members recently enquired about security of photographs on websites, so here are some thoughts -


Security of photographs posted on a website is always at risk. They can be "stolen", some more easily than others. When it comes to the RPS website, there is a copyright notice at the foot of each page and most of the images on the site are of low resolution.


In addition, for any images selected as 'Travel Group Image of the Month' and therefore featured as such, I endeavour to check that the photographer has taken suitable precautions such as completing the metadata and adding a discreet watermark or similar notice on the image itself. As requested by a member on one occasion, I was able to use their exhibited photograph from a high profile public website and noticed that any metadata which might have been attached to the image originally was stripped out, so I added copyright details back in.


Copyright for any photograph which you have taken is automatically created when the image is made (although not necessarily added to the metadata) - it doesn't need to be claimed or registered. Measures which help limit images being taken and misused include: 


  • Ensuring metadata is present so that anyone who wants to use an image can find out who to ask.
  • Embedding a watermark.
  • Only uploading low resolution images.
  • Doing the occasional Google image search to see if your images appear elsewhere on the net. Taking action against people misusing them - don't let people get away with it. 


Copyright is a big topic and there is more information about it from Andy Finney, The Royal Photographic Society’s representative on the British Copyright Council at - 


Bottom line - it's up to the photographer to follow the guidelines on protecting images and to exercise caution when posting to websites. That said, there are laws which are there to protect us.


John Curgenven LRPS

Digital Communications

RPS Travel Group